Chicos FAS, Inc. announces appointment for president of its Chico Brand

Chico’s FAS, Inc. announced that Diane Ellis has been appointed president of its Chico’s brand, effective November 1, 2016. In this role, Ms. Ellis will oversee all business activities for Chico’s and will report directly to Shelley Broader, president and chief executive officer of Chico’s FASChicos

Ellis has more than 35 years of retail experience and joins Chico’s from The Limited, where she served as chief executive officer and was instrumental in driving the strategy behind the company’s growth and business transformation over the past three years. Prior to The Limited, Ms. Ellis was president and chief operating officer of Brooks Brothers, where she led the stores, ecommerce, IT, HR, sourcing, product development, finance, supply chain and planning functions in support of the global operations of the brand.

“Diane is a seasoned leader who has proven time and again that she is one of the most strategic business and brand builders in retail. She brings merchandising, marketing and operational expertise as well as a strong passion for our customers,” said Ms. Broader. “As we continue to position our Company to win in the future, I am proud to welcome Diane to Chico’s.”

“I am thrilled to join Chico’s, an iconic brand that I’ve long admired,” Ms. Ellis said. “The Company has made great strides with its strategic initiatives, and as the retail landscape and customer behavior evolves, I’m excited to lead and support the team as we continue to strengthen Chico’s brand position and find new ways to innovate and delight our customers.”

Prior to Brooks Brothers, Ms. Ellis was the founding partner of Lighthouse Retail Group, managing director for the Retail Strategy Practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and director of merchandise planning, allocation and inventory control at Filene’s. Ms. Ellis also served in merchandising, planning, strategy and store management roles at Joseph Horne’s department stores and at Marshalls, where she launched the petite and swimwear businesses. She is a member of the board of directors of Stage Stores, Inc. 

CHICO’S FAS, INC. through its brands – Chico’s, White House Black Market, and Soma – is a leading omni-channel specialty retailer of women’s private branded, sophisticated, casual-to-dressy clothing, intimates, complementary accessories, and other non-clothing items.

As of July 30, 2016, the Company operated 1517 stores in the US and Canada and sold merchandise through franchise locations in Mexico. The Company’s merchandise is also available at,, and

Roberta Annan inducted into the African Leadership Hall of Fame

Roberta Annan, Founder of African Fashion Fund, The Frallain Group and Founding Partner of LJ Africa Advisors was the youngest African to be inducted into the African Leadership Hall of Fame at the International Forum on African Leadership — an event sponsored by African Leadership Magazine. The event took place at the St. Regis Hotel in New York, NY on September 22 alongside the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly

20161010210133ENPRN426903-African-Fashion-Fund-Roberta-Annan-90-1476133293MRAs a proponent and champion of impact investing, Ms. Annan is one of many African young change makers doing the continent proud on the global stage. African Leadership Magazine recognizes the contribution of exceptional Africans to the growth and development of the continent, as well as their ingenuity, entrepreneurial spirit and resilience that have contributed immensely to its growth and development.

“This is truly a great honor and I am so humbled by such a recognition. I hope my work will continue to inspire Young Leaders in Africa to focus on creating meaningful impact for the betterment of our Continent,” said Ms. Annan.

Past outstanding honourees of the African Leadership Magazine, who are also members of the Hall of Fame include, H.E Hifikepunye Pohamba, former President of Namibia, H.E. Jakaya Kikwete, former President of Tanzania; H.E Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, President of Sierra Leone; H.E.  President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia;  H. E John Kufour former President of Ghana, H.E Dr. Goodluck Jonathan,  former President of Nigeria, HRM Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, former Nigeria  Central Bank Governor and Emir of Kano, Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Founder Mo  Ibrahim Prize for Leadership; Dr. Donald Kebaruka, former President of  the African Development Bank Group; Hon. Xavier Luc-Duval, Vice Prime  Minister, Republic of Mauritius; Mo Dewji, CEO METL Group, Tanzania,  Alonzo Fulgam, Fmr. International Coordinator, USAID; Chief Oba Otudeko of the Honeywell Group, H.E. President Hage Geingob of Namibia, US Congressman John Lewis, US Congressman Gregory Meeks

African Fashion Fund (AFF) is a not-for-profit organization that supports and develops emerging African fashion designers. AFF aims to further African fashion designers’ success in the global fashion industry and luxury market by providing capacity building through internship placements, assistance with sales and distribution, and networking opportunities to increase their skills and knowledge.

IMF Executive Board Selects Charles Collyns as Director of the IEO


The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has selected Mr. Charles Collyns as Director of the Independent Evaluation Office of the IMF. He will succeed Mr. Moíses Schwartz of Mexico, whose term will expire on January 31, 2017.

Charles CollynesCollyns has been Managing Director and Chief Economist of the Institute of International Finance since August 2013. Between February 2010 and July 2013, he served as Assistant Secretary for International Finance at the United States Department of the Treasury. Prior to that M Collyns held several senior positions at the IMF, including Deputy Director of the Research Department and of the Western Hemisphere Department.

Charles Collyns, a national of the United States and the United Kingdom, earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Cambridge University and an MPhil and DPhil in economics from Oxford University. He will assume his duties on February 1, 2017.

The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) was established by the Executive Board of the IMF in April 2000. It is independent from Fund management and staff, and reports directly to the Executive Board on its findings.

The Director of the IEO is be appointed by the Executive Board for a non-renewable term of six years. In exceptional circumstances, the term may be extended by the Executive Board by no more than one year.

Further information on the objectives and activities of the Independent Evaluation Office may be found here

Tom Daugherty joins Nonwovens Institute

Tom Daugherty has been named associate director of the Nonwovens Institute at North Carolina State University (USA).  An R&D Manager with a proven track record of leading and managing innovation organizations and in delivering innovation for business growth, Daugherty recently retired from  Procter & Gamble as associate director of corporate R&D after more than 35 years.

In addition, he has served on the INDA Nonwovens Association Board of Directors (from 2007 to 2009) and as a member of the INDA Executive Committee since 2010. He has also served on the Nonwovens Institute (NWI) executive committee since 2003 and as chair from 2006-2008 and as the NWI Scientific Advisory Board Chair since 2010.

Daugherty brings great enthusiasm for his new position as NWI Deputy Director, where he will contribute to the continued success and growth of The Nonwovens Institute. He and his wife Barb, who have three grown sons, recently relocated from Cincinnati to Raleigh.

Daugherty has worked with faculty at the institute for many years in helping draft a vision for NWI collaborative core research. As deputy director, Tom will oversee the core research programs, will work with faculty to formulate the research agenda for NWI and will help build strategic alliances with many of our industry partners. He will be responsible for implementation of the NWI’s strategic plan in relation to research and infrastructure.


Established in 1938 and worldwide recognized as a forerunner in weaving technology, SMIT officially joined SANTEX RIMAR GROUP in April 2016.

The brand new SMIT production site is already working in Trissino (Vicenza) where Group’s headquarters is based and new Chief Executive Officer has been nominated: after several years of experience in the textile world, Simone Rancan officially joined SANTEX RIMAR GROUP and assumed the role of SMIT CEO.

SIMONE RANCAN_SMIT CEO“Simone Rancan knows textile business and will move SMIT forward with the speed required to capitalize on opportunities. He has a great ability to connect with employees, partners, customers and global leaders. Rancan’s vision, strategy and execution is exactly what SMIT needs as we enter our next chapter, which I am confident will be even more impactful and exciting than before” said Stefano Gallucci, Santex Rimar Group CEO.

Simone Rancan started his career in Sperotto Rimar, afterwards has worked in important players in the sector of weaving machines and he spent the last four years in spinning machinery with Rieter: “I am honoured by the unique chance provided by Santex Rimar Group to lead SMIT on its path forwards. Strong and well known technological foundations, coupled with the unique knowledge of a wide range of textile processes available inside the Group, provide the base for moving ahead in full confidence. New production concepts have been implemented at record speed, spare parts deliveries have already started six months ago and first looms have been delivered this month thanks to the trust of our customers who are the focus of our actions and efforts”.

SMIT SMART PLATFORM is a structural architecture concept involving the whole machine project – mechanics, electronics and communicationSMIT_jaquard_making of_trissino_vicenza_italy systems – to provide the most advantageous weaving machine configurations to produce high quality fabrics for any sector, widening weaver’s market access.

Versatility for further upgrading at any time, flexibility with the widest range of fabrics, excellent fabric quality productions, low rate consumption, ease of use and maintenance are the main features of SMIT weaving machines. Custom made self-retaining grippers, easy to adjust and stable while weaving, are engineered for a wide range of weft material and counts.

In Spring 2017 SMIT will offer an exclusive glimpse into the new lean production site during an Open Doors Event where customers will have the unique chance to admire the most exciting and inspiring projects for the future of the company.

Charlotte Petri Gornitzka

DAC Chair for Charlotte Petri Gornitzka

Sweden’s Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, former Director General of the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (Sida), was appointed as the new Chair of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in July 2016. 

“Ms Petri Gornitzka brings the DAC a wealth of experience in international development, including in creating public-private partnerships to deliver solutions on the ground,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “At a time when the development landscape is changing radically I am confident she will make the DAC an even more proactive force in improving development effectivenes, mobilising more private investment and enhancing the OECD’s development agenda, including the SDG Action Plan.”

During her tenure at Sida, Ms Petri Gornitzka contributed to maintaining Sweden as one of the most generous providers of development assistance of the 28 DAC member countries, with a special focus on the neediest countries.

Before joining Sida in 2011, Ms Petri Gornitzka was Secretary-General of the International Save the Children Alliance. From 2003-2008 she was Secretary-General and CEO of Save the Children Sweden. Prior to that, she was Under Secretary-General and Communications Director of the Swedish Red Cross. She has also held positions within the World Economic Forum and is a member of the 2030 Water Resources Group Governing Council.

Nike Co-Founder Gives USD 500 Million for University of Oregon Science Center

The University of Oregon is launching a new science campus, backed by a USD 500 million gift from Nike Inc. co-founder Phil Knight and his wife, Penny.

The Knight gift is the largest ever for a public flagship institution, according to university officials, and tied for the family’s biggest to a school.

The Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact will focus on finding real-world applications for more basic scientificLogo University of Oregon discoveries, according to school officials.

In coming years, the university expects to build three research facilities across from its current science complex in Eugene, Ore., hire 30 new research scientists and add spots for 250 graduate students and 150 postdoctoral researchers.

“This is a seminal moment for the University of Oregon, an inflection point that will shape the trajectory of the university and this state for the next century and beyond,” President Michael Schill said in a press release.

In 2013, the Knights announced a USD 500 million matched gift for cancer research to the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland; the school met the challenge last year. And in February, they announced a USD 400 million donation to Stanford University for a graduate scholars program.

So-called mega-gifts to colleges have become more commonplace in recent years, particularly at institutions like Harvard University and Stanford. Each of those schools netted more than $1 billion in University of Oregondonations last year alone, anchored by a handful of nine-figure donations. But such massive gifts are still relatively rare at public universities.

“There’s been a lot of discussion about these gifts going from the top 1% to the top 1%. This is a wonderful antidote to the criticism,” Schill said in an interview, noting that more than one-third of Oregon undergraduates are considered low income.

Separately, the White House released statistics on October 17, 2016, showing that 73.8 % of Oregon students graduated from high school last year, one of the lowest graduation rates in the country. The national rate is 83.2 %.

Schill said one of his early goals when becoming president 15 months ago was to expand the research capacity of the institution, which doesn’t have its own medical school. The school approached the Knight family about a gift to back a proposed science centre, and Schill said he was stunned by the amount they offered.

Phil Knight the retired co-founder of NikeKnight said the investment was intended to address funding problems in basic scientific research and public higher education. Such financial woes “threaten to choke off opportunities to enhance standards of living,” he said.

“Collaborative scientific research is a comparative strength at the University of Oregon, and with appropriate support could develop into a major centre of excellence and a national treasure,” Mr. Knight added.

Patrick Phillips, acting executive director of the new campus, said the gift will allow Oregon to attract high-calibre scientists interested in interdisciplinary and practical research. Improved faculty recruiting could, in turn, help the school appeal to more science-minded students. The new campus is expected to have research opportunities for 150 undergraduates.

The school is aiming to open the first new building in three years, and have the entire program in full operation in a decade.

“It gives us an opportunity to rethink the shape of the modern research university, where the boundaries between fields are really starting to erode,” he said.

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